In Illinois, our driving under the influence laws say that it is illegal to operate a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Clearly, your car is a vehicle, as is your family’s SUV. A big rig is very clearly a vehicle, and CDL holders may be in even more trouble for drunk-driving one. However, there is still room for debate and confusion about what else constitutes a “vehicle.” Is your bicycle a vehicle? Will you get in trouble for drunk riding your bike home from the bar to avoid driving? What if your bicycle is electric and you do not have to pedal it? These are the types of questions you need answers to before you hop on any device meant to transport you while you are impaired by alcohol or drugs like cannabis. If you do find yourself charged with a DUI on an unusual vehicle, our attorneys can help you fight the charge.
Defining a “Vehicle” for Purposes of Illinois’ DUI Laws
In Illinois, the definition of a “vehicle” is somewhat broad. For purposes of determining whether you could get charged with a DUI for driving or riding it while intoxicated, the determining factor is what powers the vehicle. A “vehicle” is anything designed to transport a person or people, and that is not solely human-powered.
So, while a bicycle is designed to transport a person, it is not a “vehicle” for DUI purposes if it is a standard pedal-powered bicycle. However, slap a motor on that bicycle so that you do not have to pedal, and suddenly, you are back in DUI territory....